Food Act 2015

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202015/Food-Act-2015-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions
PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement
2. Interpretation
3. Purposes
4. Relationship with other Acts

PART 2
DEALING WITH FOOD

5. Safe food
6. Suitable food
7. False descriptions of food
8. Labelling requirements
9. Expiry and best before dates
10. Food for infants and children
11. Import and export of food
12. Inspection of imported food

PART 3
FOOD BUSINESS

13. Certificate of health
14. Operators of food business
15. Operators to ensure that food can
be traced
16. Food handlers

PART 4
ADMINISTRATION

17. Responsibility of the Ministry
18. Food and Nutrition Policy
Committee
19. Functions of the Committee
20. Food safety officers 21. Power of Director General to issue
directions and controls
22. Privileged statements
23. Approvals

PART 5
FOOD INSPECTION AND
ANALYSIS

24. Powers of entry and search
25. Closing orders
26. Assistance from the police
27. Sampling
28. Appointment of analyst and
certificate of analyst
29. Copy of certificate
30. Right to request a second test
31. Cost of analysis
32. Seizing food or associated things
33. Destruction and disposal of seized
food or associated things

PART 6
OFFENCES

34. Offences involving misleading
conduct
35. Offences involving obstruction of
officers




2 Food 2015, No. 16
36. Offences involving publishing non-
complying advertisements
37. Offences involving donation of
unsafe food
38. Offences by body corporate

PART 7
EVIDENTIAL PRESUMPTIONS
AND COURT ORDERS

39. Evidential presumptions
40. Order to pay expenses
41. Order to forfeit and dispose of food
or associated thing
42. Order to cease use of label, etc
43. Order to restrict or prohibit dealing
with food

PART 8
MISCELLANEOUS

44. Protection from personal liability
45. Delegation
46. Regulations
47. Fees and forms
48. Reference to standard works
49. Transitional
50. Consequential amendments


__________

2015, No. 16

AN ACT:
(a) to regulate dealing with food, food business and
inspection and analysis of food; and
(b) to provide functions, duties and powers for the purpose
of this Act; and
(c) to regulate production, manufacture, importation and
exportation, sale, donation, processing, cooking,
handling, labeling, advertising, promotion of and
information on food, including provision of food for
community and traditional events and ceremonies;
and
(d) for related purposes.
[03rd
June 2015]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be cited as
the Food Act 2015.
(2) This Act commences on the date of assent by the Head of State.



2015, No. 16 Food 3

2. Interpretation - In this Act, unless the context otherwise
requires:
“Act” includes Ordinance;
“advertisement” means any form of communication made to a
person for the purpose of selling or promoting or appearing to
sell or to promote the sale of food or associated thing;
“analysis” means an analysis and examination undertaken under
Part 5;
“associated thing”:
(a) means a thing that is used, or represented for use, in or for
the production, processing, cooking, handling or sale of
food; and
(b) includes -
(i) a thing that is enclosed with, attached to, in
contact with, or contained in food; or
(ii) an infant feeding accessory; or
(iii) a place.
“best before date” means the date which signifies the end of the
period under any stated storage conditions during which the
product will:
(a) remain fully marketable; and
(b) retain a specific quality for which tacit or express claims
have been made, even though, beyond that date the
food may still be perfectly satisfactory.
“business”, in relation to food, includes any activity aimed at
generating revenue in trade, commerce or industry;
“business licence” means a business licence for a food business
issued under the Business Licences Act 1998;
“certificate of analysis” means a certificate issued under section
28;
“certificate of health” for a food business, means a certificate of
health issued under section 13;
“closing order” means an order issued under section 25(1);
“Codex Alimentarius Commission” means the body created in
1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World
Health Organisation to develop and maintain international
food standards, guidelines and related texts, such as codes of
practice;
“dealing with food” means any of the following:
(a) producing food;
(b) processing, cooking or handling food;
(c) selling food;



4 Food 2015, No. 16

(d) importing or exporting food;
(e) labeling, advertising, promoting or providing information
about food;
(f) storing food;
(g) transporting food;
(h) providing food for community or traditional purposes;
(i) donating food.
“Director General” means the Chief Executive Officer of the
Ministry appointed pursuant to section 9 of the Ministry of
Health Act 2006;
“exempted food” means food exempted by regulations;
“expiry date” means the date which signifies the end of the
estimated period under any stated storage conditions, after
which the food probably will not be satisfactory or have the
quality attributes normally expected by consumers;
“export”:
(a) means to send out of Samoa; and
(b) includes to send to an agent in Samoa for the purpose of
being held prior to re-exportation.
“food”:
(a) means any substance, whether processed, semi-processed,
raw or cooked, which is intended for human
consumption; and
(b) includes any drink, chewing gum or substance used in the
manufacture, preparation or treatment of the substance;
and
(c) does not include cosmetics, tobacco or a substance used
only as medicine.
“food business”:
(a) means a business that deals with food; and
(b) includes a business that -
(i) sells, transports or stores food; or
(ii) sells food on the internet; or
(iii) operates, for reward, places (including
mobile premises) or services in connection with or
for the purpose of dealings with food; or
(iv) is prescribed by regulations to be a food
business for the purposes of this Act; but
(c) does not include a business that is prescribed by regulations
not to be a food business for the purposes of this Act.



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“food handler” means a person who:
(a) directly handles unpackaged food or any food equipment
and utensils, or food contact surfaces; and
(b) is expected to comply with food hygiene requirements
under this Act.
“food safety officer” means a person designated as such under
section 20;
“hazard” means a biological, chemical, or physical agent that:
(a) is in the food or has the potential to be in the food, or is a
condition of the food, or has the potential to affect the
condition of the food; and
(b) causes or could cause an adverse or injurious effect on the
life or health of a person or on public health.
“infant feeding accessory” means a thing that is intended for the
feeding of infants, such as infant feeding bottles and teats;
“import” means to bring into Samoa;
“importer” means a person who imports food or an associated
thing, and includes the following:
(a) the agent or representative in Samoa of a person who is
based overseas and who has arranged the importation of
food or associated thing;
(b) the consignee of the imported food or associated thing;
(c) the person who is or becomes the owner of, or entitled to
the possession or control of, or beneficially interested
in, the imported food or associated thing, on or at any
time after its importation and before it has ceased to be
subject to the control of Customs.
“intended use” means the use for the food that is specifically
stated, or could reasonably be presumed, to be intended, taking
into account the nature, labeling, packaging, or identification of
the food;
“Judge” means a judge of the District Court or Supreme Court;
“label” means any tag, brand, mark, pictorial or other descriptive
matter that is written, printed, stenciled, marked, embossed,
impressed on or attached to the food or associated thing;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Health;
“Ministry” means the Ministry responsible for Health;
“operator of a food business” means:
(a) the owner of the business; or
(b) the person in possession or control of the business
operations.



6 Food 2015, No. 16

“package”:
(a) includes -
(i) anything in or by which food for carriage or
for sale may be wholly or partly encased, covered,
enclosed, contained or packed; and
(ii) if the food is sold or carried or intended for
sale or carriage in more than one (1) package, the
package; but
(b) does not include any of the following -
(i) bulk cargo containers;
(ii) pallet overwraps;
(iii) crates and packaging that do not obscure
labels on the food;
(iv) vessel, aircraft or vehicle.
“place” includes any of the following:
(a) any premises;
(b) a building;
(c) a temporary or permanent structure;
(d) a stall;
(e) a conveyance;
(f) a vessel or aircraft;
(g) a vehicle;
(h) a bulk cargo container;
(i) any other area where food is processed, cooked or may be
present.
“police officer” means a sworn member of the Samoa Police
Service;
“processing and handling”, in relation to food for sale, includes
preparing, manufacturing, producing, cooking, packing,
repacking, transporting, storing, displaying or serving food;
“safe”:
(a) means a condition in which food, in terms of its intended
use, is unlikely to cause or lead to illness or injury to a
person or adversely affecting public health; and
(b) includes a process condition by which a hazard is
identified, controlled, managed or eliminated.
“sell”:
(a) means to sell for human consumption or use; and
(b) includes the following -
(i) to sell for re-sale for human consumption or
use;



2015, No. 16 Food 7

(ii) to offer or attempt to sell, or to receive for
sale, or to have in possession for sale, or to expose
for sale, or to send or deliver for sale, or to cause or
permit to be sold, offered, or exposed for sale;
(iii) to barter;
(iv) to supply, together with any
accommodation, service, or entertainment, as part
of an inclusive fee or charge;
(v) to offer as a prize or reward, whether or not
on payment of money, or to give away;
(vi) to export;
(vii) any other method of disposition for
valuable consideration.
“suitable” means the condition where the following matters are
appropriate to the food in terms of its intended use:
(a) quality;
(b) composition or modifications to composition for the
purpose of improving health status;
(c) labeling;
(d) identification;
(e) condition of the food.

3. Purposes - The purposes of this Act are:
(a) to ensure that food is safe and suitable for human
consumption; and
(b) to improve nutrition; and
(c) to prevent misleading conduct relating to the sale of food;
and
(d) to comply with Samoa’s international obligations.

4. Relationship with other Acts - This Act:
(a) is in addition to any other Act that regulates food; and
(b) prevails, if there is any inconsistency between this Act and
that other Act.

PART 2
DEALING WITH FOOD

5. Safe food-(1) A person who deals with food must take
reasonable steps to ensure that the food is safe.



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(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence
and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty
units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or
both.

6. Suitable food-(1) A person who deals with any food must take
reasonable steps to ensure that the food is suitable.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence
and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty
units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or
both.

7. False descriptions of food-(1) A person must not falsely
describe food intended for sale.
(2) A person must not sell food that the person ought reasonably to
know is falsely described or is likely to cause physical harm to a
person who relies on that description.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence
and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 8,000 penalty
units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three (3) years, or
both.
(4) A person who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence
and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000 penalty
units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years, or
both.

8. Labeling requirements-(1) A person who undertakes the
packaging of any food, other than exempted food, must ensure that the
packaged food bears a label that states the following information:
(a) the name under which the food is to be sold;
(b) the nature of the food;
(c) the list of ingredients;
(d) the net weight, true measure or volume of the food’s
contents;
(e) the name, address and any other contact information of the
manufacturer or importer;
(f) any other particulars prescribed by regulations.
(2) Subject to regulations made under this Act, information
required under subsection (1) must be provided in the English or
Samoan language in a manner that is easily visible and likely to be
read and understood by an ordinary person under normal conditions of
purchase and use.



2015, No. 16 Food 9

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an
offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.

9. Expiry and best before dates-(1) A person who sells any food
that carries an expiry date or a best before date, or is required by
regulations to carry an expiry date or a best before date, must ensure
that the food bears the expiry date or best before date in a manner that
is easily visible and likely to be read and understood by an ordinary
person under customary conditions of purchase and use.
(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the person must, after the
expiry date or best before date of food, ensure that the food is not sold.
(3) A person must not import, export, sell or donate any food
which has passed its expiry or best before date.
(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1), (2) or (3) commits an
offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.

10. Food for infants and children-(1) A person who advertises,
promotes, labels or sells any food, infant feeding accessory or
associated thing, for infants and young children, in contravention of
the requirements of this Act, commits an offence and is liable upon
conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or both.
(2) In this Act, the ages for infants and young children are:
(a) for infants, 12 months or under; and
(b) for young children, over 12 months to three (3) years.

11. Import and export of food-(1) A person must not import any
food unless the food:
(a) has been produced or manufactured in accordance with
prescribed standards; and
(b) is accompanied by the prescribed documents; and
(c) has been inspected by the relevant government Ministry or
agency at a port of entry.
(2) If any food sought to be imported would, if sold in Samoa,
contravene this Act, a food safety officer may authorise its importation
for the purpose of re-labeling or re-conditioning as prescribed.



10 Food 2015, No. 16

(3) If the re-labeling or re-conditioning under subsection (2) is not
carried out within the authorised period, the importer must re-export or
destroy the food at his or her own expense.
(4) If an importer fails to re-export or destroy the imported food
under subsection (3), the Director General may destroy the imported
food.
(5) The exporter is liable to pay the Government for the costs of
destruction of imported food by the Director General under subsection
(4) and the costs are recoverable as debt owed to the Government.
(6) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (3) commits an
offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years.

12. Inspection of imported food-(1) A food safety officer may:
(a) inspect any imported food or associated thing; and
(b) take samples of the imported food or associated thing for
analysis or inspection.
(2) When a sample is taken under subsection (1), the officer:
(a) must, in the presence of the owner or importer or a person
in apparent control of the food, seal and mark the
sample in the manner prescribed; and
(b) must not release the consignment from which the sample
was taken except upon production of an analyst’s
certificate under section 28 to the effect that the food or
associated thing complies with the requirements of this
Act.
(3) The costs of an inspection, analysis or storage while analysis is
being performed are to be paid by the importer.

PART 3
FOOD BUSINESS

13. Certificate of health-(1) No person may operate a food
business unless the business has a current certificate of health issued
under this section in the manner prescribed by regulations.
(2) Subject to Business Licences Act 1998, the Director General
may:
(a) issue with or without conditions a certificate of health to a
food business that meets the requirements of this Act;
or
(b) refuse to issue a certificate of health if the business does not
meet the requirements of this Act; or



2015, No. 16 Food 11

(c) suspend or revoke a certificate of health issued under this
Act if the business does not meet the requirements or
has breached a provision of this Act.
(3) For the purpose of subsection (2), a food safety officer must:
(a) inspect a food business to assess whether the business meets
the requirements of this Act; and
(b) make an inspection report to the Director General.
(4) The business licence of a food business is taken to be
suspended by operation of this subsection if the food business does not
have a current certificate of health.
(5) A person who operates a food business without a certificate of
health commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine not
exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five (5) years, or both.

14. Operators of food business-(1) The operator of a food
business must carry out the following:
(a) ensure that the operations of the food business do not
contravene a requirement of this Act;
(b) ensure that any food that the operator imports, exports or
deals with complies with all relevant requirements of
this Act;
(c) ensure the unhindered right of food safety officers to carry
out their functions, duties and powers under this Act.
(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence
and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty units
or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or both.

15. Operators to ensure that food can be traced-(1) The
operator of a food business must establish and implement a system to
enable the business to identify a person who supplied or to whom the
business supplied, any animal, food or substance intended to be eaten
or expected to be incorporated into any other food.
(2) The operator of a food business must, on request by a food
safety officer, provide any information collected under the system.
(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5)
years, or both.



12 Food 2015, No. 16

16. Food handlers-(1) The operator of a food business must
ensure that a food handler has food safety training from any of the
following:
(a) the Ministry;
(b) an approved training organisation.
(2) Subject to any exemption by regulations, the operator of a food
business must:
(a) before a food handler starts employment in the food
business, ensure that the food handler has undergone a
medical screening test approved by the Director
General; and
(b) ensure that a food handler undertakes an annual medical
screening tests;
(c) send a copy of the medical certificate under paragraph (a)
or (b) to the Director General.
(3) The operator of a food business must not employ a person as a
food handler if the person has not passed the medical screening test
under subsection (2).
(4) An operator who contravenes subsection (2) or (3) commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.

PART 4
ADMINISTRATION

17. Responsibility of the Ministry-(1) The Ministry is responsible
for the implementation and enforcement of this Act.
(2) The functions of the Ministry in carrying out its responsibilities
under subsection (1) are:
(a) to monitor food control activities in Samoa at all stages of
production, manufacture and distribution; and
(b) to prepare regulations, orders, standards, codes of practice
and notices under this Act; and
(c) to consult widely with all sectors relating to or affected by
food in carrying out its activities under paragraphs (a)
and (b); and
(d) to promote consumer education regarding food safety; and
(e) to carry out any other matters relating to paragraphs (a) to
(d) or conferred on it under this Act or any other Act.



2015, No. 16 Food 13

18. Food and Nutrition Policy Committee-(1) The Food and
Nutrition Policy Committee is established consisting of the following
members to be appointed by the Minister:
(a) a representative of the Ministry of Health, as Chairperson;
(b) a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries;
(c) a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment;
(d) a representative of the Ministry responsible for Tourism;
(e) a representative of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and
Labour;
(f) a representative of the Ministry of Revenue;
(g) a representative from the Ministry of Education, Sports and
Culture;
(h) a representative of a body responsible for national food
standards;
(i) a representative of a private-sector body responsible for
food consumers.
(2) The Minister may appoint up to three (3) additional members to
ensure that the Committee reflects the maximum number of expertise.
(3) At a meeting of the Committee:
(a) the Chairperson or, if the Chairperson is absent, a member
(other than additional members) selected by other
members (including additional members) present,
presides;
(b) the quorum is at least 50% of all members (excluding
additional members).
(4) The Committee:
(a) must meet at least once every three (3) months; and
(b) may regulate its own procedures, subject to this Act.
(5) The Committee may appoint subcommittees consisting of
members or non-members or both, to assist the Committee perform its
functions.
(6) A person who has any direct or indirect financial interest in a
business dealing with food or food associated product must not be
appointed to the Committee or a subcommittee.

19. Functions of the Committee-(1) The function of the
Committee is to advise the Director General on any matter dealing
with this Act referred to it under a term of reference issued by the
Director General.



14 Food 2015, No. 16

(2) Other functions of the Committee may be prescribed by
regulations.

20. Food safety officers-(1) The Director General may designate a
suitably qualified and experienced person to be a food safety officer
for the purposes of this Act on terms and conditions set out in the
designation by the Director General.
(2) The Director General may suspend or terminate a person’s
designation as a food safety officer.

21. Power of Director General to issue directions and controls-
(1) The Director General may give written directions to a food safety
officer about the officer’s functions, duties, or powers under this Act.
(2) The Director General may direct the following persons, either
individually or as a class, to take any action to meet any requirement
of this Act on food and associated things, if the Director General is
satisfied that the food or associated thing will not meet the
requirements of this Act if the action is not taken:
(a) the operator of a food business;
(b) the person in possession or control of, or reasonably
appearing to be in possession or control of, any food, an
associated thing, or anything that may become food.
(3) The Director General may give the following directions to a
person if the Director General reasonably believes that there is an
urgent need to do so to protect life and health of persons or protect
public health:
(a) to restrict or stop the movement of food;
(b) to restrict or stop the production, processing, cooking,
handling, or sale of food.
(4) The Director General may impose controls if the Director
General reasonably suspects the existence of a hazard or a source of
contamination that may affect the food or anything that may become
food.
(5) The directions or controls continue in force until the earlier of
the following occurs:
(a) the directions or controls expire;
(b) the Director General revokes the directions or controls.
(6) The Director General may give the following directions to a
person:
(a) to publish a statement for the purpose of protecting the
public;



2015, No. 16 Food 15

(b) to recall food or an associated thing that the Director
General reasonably believes is not safe or suitable;
(c) to recall an associated thing that the Director General
reasonably believes has contaminated food or caused
food to be no longer safe or suitable;
(d) to recall an associated thing that the Director General
reasonably believes may contaminate food;
(e) to recall food or an associated thing that the Director
General reasonably believes is mislabeled or incorrectly
identified;
(f) to take food or an associated thing recalled under any of
paragraphs (b) to (e) to -
(i) a place specified in the directions; or
(ii) a place agreed to between the Director
General and the person to whom the directions are
given;
(g) to dispose of food in a manner approved by the Director
General.
(7) If a person to whom a direction is given under subsection (3) or
(6) fails or refuses to comply with a direction, the Director General
may:
(a) take any steps necessary to ensure compliance with the
direction (including entry by food safety officers to a
place under a warrant); and
(b) recover the costs and expenses reasonably incurred in
taking action as a debt due from the person.
(8) A person who contravenes a direction given under subsection
(2), (3) or (6) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine
not exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five (5) years, or both.

22. Privileged statements-(1) The Director General may publish a statement for the purpose of protecting life or health of persons or
protecting public health or informing the public about the safety or
suitability of the following:
(a) any food;
(b) an associated thing;
(c) anything contained or implied in any advertisement about
food or an associated thing.
(2) A statement made under this section is protected from liability
if made in good faith and in the public interest only if it is used
properly and in a justifiable manner.



16 Food 2015, No. 16

23. Approvals-(1) The Director General may, with or without
conditions, approve any process, item, laboratory, person or class of
persons required to be approved under this Act, if the Director General
is satisfied that the approval is necessary for the effective operation of
this Act.
(2) For an approved laboratory, a condition may include reporting
requirements relating to certain test results, including specified
contaminants in food.

PART 5
FOOD INSPECTION AND ANALYSIS

24. Powers of entry and search-(1) Subject to subsections (3) and
(7), a food safety officer may do any of the following for the purposes
of this Act:
(a) stop, detain or search a vehicle, vessel or aircraft the officer
knows or reasonably suspects -
(i) is being used for the production, processing,
cooking, handling, storage, display, sale or
distribution of any food or associated thing; and
(ii) has been, is being, or is likely to be used by
a person in connection with a contravention of a
requirement of this Act;
(b) enter any place, at any time, the officer knows or
reasonably suspects is being used for the production,
processing, handling, storage, display or sale of any
food or associated thing.
(2) In the place entered under subsection (1), the officer may do
any of the following:
(a) search for, examine or take samples of any food or
associated thing;
(b) open and inspect a room, place, container or package that
the officer knows or reasonably suspects contains any
food or associated thing;
(c) examine or make copies of a document (electronic or hard
copy) that could contain relevant information about any
food or associated thing;
(d) obtain photographic evidence of any food or associated
thing or condition;
(e) question, with respect to matters under this Act, a person
the officer finds in the place;



2015, No. 16 Food 17

(f) make an inquiry or examination as the officer believes to be
necessary or desirable to assist the discharge or exercise
of a function or power under this Act to ascertain
whether a contravention of a provision of this Act has
been, is being or is likely to be committed.
(3) Subsection (1) does not authorise forcible entry by the officer
to any place except under the authority of a warrant obtained under
subsection (4).
(4) If a Judge is satisfied, upon the information of a food safety
officer, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that a place has been,
is being or is likely to be used in connection with a contravention of a
provision of this Act, the Judge may issue a warrant authorising the
officer with or without a police officer to enter the place specified in
the warrant for the purpose of exercising the powers and duties
conferred on a food safety officer under this Act.
(5) For the purpose of gaining entry to any place, a food safety
officer may require the assistance of another person as the officer
considers necessary.
(6) A warrant issued under subsection (4) is, for a period of one (1)
month from the date of its issue, sufficient authority:
(a) for the food safety officer and a person assisting the food
safety officer, to enter the place specified in the
warrant; and
(b) for the food safety officer to exercise, in the place specified
in the warrant, all the powers and duties conferred on a
food safety officer by this Act.
(7) Before exercising a power under subsection (1), the food safety
officer must produce his or her identification, if requested.

25. Closing orders-(1) The Director General may issue a closing
order for a place if:
(a) the Director General has reasons to believe that the public
health is at immediate risk until corrective action
identified as necessary in an inspection is taken; or
(b) the owner or operator of the place fails within a reasonable
period to implement a corrective action, identified as
necessary by the Director General.
(2) The owner or operator of the place that is subject to a closing
order may request the Director General for re-inspection of the place
to determine compliance with the requirements of this Act and the re-
inspection must be carried out within 72 hours of receiving the request
for re-inspection.



18 Food 2015, No. 16

(3) If a place is found, upon re-inspection under subsection (2), to
be in compliance with the requirements of this Act, the Director
General must immediately lift the closing order.
(4) If the operator of a food business:
(a) fails to stop its operations and close its place within 12
hours of the closing order; or
(b) fails to comply with the requirements of this Act, within 14
days of the closing order; or
(c) is found on more than two (2) occasions within 12 months
to be subject to a closing order,
the Director General must request the Commissioner of Inland
Revenue to cancel the business licence for the food business.
(5) When the request is received under subsection (4), the
Commissioner of Inland Revenue must as soon as possible cancel the
business licence and inform the Director General.
(6) A food business, the business licence of which is revoked
pursuant to subsection (5), must not be issued with a new business
licence within three (3) months of the revocation of the business
licence pursuant to subsection (5).

26. Assistance from the police-(1) The Director General or a food
safety officer may ask a police officer, if necessary, for assistance in
carrying out the functions, duties, or powers under this Act.
(2) In providing assistance under this section, a police officer has
the powers of a food safety officer under this Act.

27. Sampling - If a food safety officer reasonably believes that
there may be a contravention of this Act, the food safety officer may
demand and obtain, with or without payment, samples of food or an
associated thing as required for the purposes of this Act.

28. Appointment of analyst and certificate of analyst-(1) The
Minister may appoint a suitably qualified person to be an analyst to
analyse and examine any food or associated thing submitted for the
purposes of this Act and to prepare a certificate of analysis relating to
the results of the analysis and examination.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the certificate of analysis is prima
facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate and is admissible in
any court or tribunal.
(3) A court or tribunal may require the analyst to appear in the
proceedings for the purpose of examination on the certificate of
analysis.



2015, No. 16 Food 19

29. Copy of certificate - A food safety officer must provide a copy
of the certificate of analysis to the person from whom the sample was
obtained.

30. Right to request a second test - A food safety officer must
provide an affected person with the opportunity to carry out or request,
at the person’s expense, a second test to re-confirm the results of an
analysis undertaken under this Part.

31. Cost of analysis - A Judge may, in the case of a conviction,
award the cost of analysis against the defendant as part of the costs of
the prosecution.

32. Seizing food or associated things-(1) A food safety officer
may seize any food or associated thing which contravenes this Act.
(2) A food safety officer who seizes any food or associated thing
under subsection (1) must include a statement of the seizure in the
written inspection report and provide the report to the owner or
operator of the place as soon as possible.
(3) If a food safety officer has seized any food, associated thing,
record or other property for the purposes of this Act, the officer may:
(a) retain it for as long as it is necessary for the purpose; and
(b) for any record, provide a certified copy of the record to the
person entitled to it; and
(c) for any food, associated thing or other property, dispose of
it as the Judge directs.
(4) The owner or operator from whom any food, associated thing
or property has been seized may apply to a Judge within two (2)
working days from the date of seizure for an order to revoke the
seizure and to release the seized food or associated thing.
(5) An order issued by the Judge under subsection (4) may state
that the released food or associated thing is safe.
33. Destruction and disposal of seized food or associated
things-(1) A food safety officer must destroy and dispose of any food
or associated thing seized under section 32 if:
(a) the food safety officer has reason to believe that public
health is at immediate risk unless the food or associated
thing is destroyed and disposed of; or
(b) the food or associated thing is in contravention of the
requirements of this Act and the owner consents in
writing to its destruction and disposal; or



20 Food 2015, No. 16

(c) the court has ordered the disposal under section 41.
(2) If any food or associated thing is destroyed and disposed of
under subsection (1), the owner is liable for all reasonable costs for the
destruction and disposal of food.
(3) In this section, “dispose” includes re-export.
PART 6
OFFENCES
34. Offences involving misleading conduct-(1) A person commits
an offence if the person:
(a) provides a document or information to a food safety officer
that -
(i) is required to be provided to the officer under
this Act; and
(ii) is false or misleading in a material detail; or
(b) alters, conceals, or destroys a document or information; or
(c) adulterates, misrepresents, or tampers with food or an
associated thing so that it does not conform with -
(i) its label; or
(ii) its package; or
(d) falsifies, suppresses, or tampers with any food sample or
associated thing.
(2) In a prosecution for an offence against this section, it is not
necessary to prove that the defendant intended to commit the offence.
(3) A person who is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) is
liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or both.
35. Offences involving obstruction of officers - A person who
hinders or obstructs a food safety officer from carrying out his or her
functions, duties or powers under this Act commits an offence and is
liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2) years, or both.
36. Offences involving publishing non-complying
advertisements-(1) A person commits an offence if the person
publishes or arranges an advertisement that:
(a) does not comply with the requirements of this Act; or
(b) is false or misleading in a material detail; or
(c) is prohibited by a requirement of this Act.



2015, No. 16 Food 21

(2) A person who is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) is
liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 10,000 penalty units or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding five (5) years, or both.
37. Offences involving donation of unsafe food - A person who
donates or gives free-of-charge food which is unsafe or unsuitable or
which does not comply with the requirements of this Act commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding 5,000
penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two (2)
years, or both.
38. Offences by body corporate - If a body corporate commits an
offence against this Act, a director or any other person concerned in
the management of the body corporate also commits the same offence
unless the director or other person proves that he or she exercised
reasonable diligence to prevent the commission of the offence.

PART 7
EVIDENTIAL PRESUMPTIONS
AND COURT ORDERS

39. Evidential presumptions-(1) The contents of a package are
presumed to conform with the description of the contents stated in the
label on the package, until the contrary is proved.
(2) The person who is stated in the label on the package to be the
person who imported, produced, processed or handled the food in the
package is presumed to be the person who imported, produced,
processed or handled the food in the package, until the contrary is
proved.
(3) Food is presumed to be in the possession of a person for the
purpose of sale until the contrary is proved if the food is found at a
place the person uses for the following:
(a) for the sale of food;
(b) for the holding of food for sale;
(c) for the storage of food for sale;
(d) for the display, merchandising, or transporting of food for
sale.
(4) A sample of any food from the following is presumed to be
representative of the quantity of food from which the sample was
taken, until the contrary is proved:
(a) sample taken from an identified quantity of food;
(b) sample taken or interpreted as required under this Act.



22 Food 2015, No. 16

(5) The sample is also presumed to be representative of the batch,
lot, or production run from which the identified quantity of the sample
was taken, until the contrary is proved.
(6) Any information sent electronically by a person is presumed to
have been sent by that person until the contrary is proved if
information sent electronically purports to have been sent by the
person because of the following:
(a) the information has the person’s signature on it;
(b) the information identifies the person as the sender in some
other way.

40. Order to pay expenses-(1) A court may order a person
convicted of an offence against this Act to pay any or all of the
expenses incurred in taking, holding, or testing food or an associated
thing for the purposes of the prosecution.
(2) The amount ordered under subsection (1) is to be paid together
with any fine imposed or to be recoverable as a debt.

41. Order to forfeit and dispose of food or associated thing-(1)
Before making an order under this section, the court must give the
following an opportunity to be heard:
(a) a person convicted of an offence against this Act;
(b) any other person the court considers has an interest in the
food or associated thing for which the offence was
committed.
(2) The court may order that:
(a) the following be forfeited to the Government -
(i) any food or associated thing for which the
offence was committed that is in the person’s
possession or control;
(ii) any food or associated thing for which the
offence was committed that was in the person’s
possession or control before being seized under this
Act and is still in the custody of the court or the
prosecution; and
(b) the food or associated thing must be disposed of in the
manner approved by the Director General.
(3) The court may order a person to pay all or any of the expenses
incurred in disposing of any food or associated thing under subsection
(2)(b).



2015, No. 16 Food 23

(4) The amount that the court orders to be paid under this section is
to be paid together with any fine imposed or to be recoverable as a
debt.
(5) The court may order relief from the forfeiture of any food or
associated thing, if the court is satisfied that the relief is in the interests
of justice.
(6) In this section, “disposed of” includes re-exported.

42. Order to cease use of label, etc - The court may order a
person who does the following to cease the use of any advertisement,
label, or package of the same kind until the problem that resulted in the
conviction has been remedied:
(a) imports, produces, processes and handles, or sells any food
or associated thing;
(b) is convicted of an offence against this Act in relation to any
advertisement, label, or package.

43. Order to restrict or prohibit dealing with food-(1) This
section applies when:
(a) a person -
(i) is convicted of an offence against this Act;
and
(ii) has been convicted of an offence under any
other Act in relation to matters covered under this
Act; or
(b) a person is convicted of an offence against this Act and the
court considers that the person’s dealings with food
should be restricted or prohibited because -
(i) the offence for which the person has been
convicted is serious; or
(ii) the person has breached a previous order
under this section.
(2) The court may make:
(a) a restriction order to specify the ways in which the person is
restricted in the person’s dealings with food; or
(b) a prohibition order to prohibit the person from dealing with
food.
(3) A person subject to an order under subsection (2) may apply to
the court which may do the following:
(a) cancel or change the order;
(b) change a prohibition order to a restriction order;



24 Food 2015, No. 16

(c) refuse the application, in which case the court may specify
the earliest date upon which the person may re-apply
for cancellation of the order.
(4) In making a decision under subsection (3), the court must take
into account the following:
(a) the nature of the offence for which the person was
convicted;
(b) any step taken to remedy the problem that resulted in the
order;
(c) the person’s conduct since the order was made;
(d) the person’s character;
(e) any other circumstances of the case.
(5) If the court changes the order or refuses the application, the
person may re-apply for cancellation of the order:
(a) when the date specified under subsection (3)(c) has expired;
or
(b) if there has been a material change in the person’s
circumstances.

PART 8
MISCELLANEOUS

44. Protection from personal liability-(1) This section applies to
the following:
(a) the Minister;
(b) the Director General;
(c) the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, in relation to
business licences for food businesses;
(d) a food safety officer;
(e) any other officer or employee of the Government or any
person required to assist in the carrying out of any
function, duty or power under this Act.
(2) A person to whom this section applies is not personally liable
for carrying or failing to carry out in good faith and without reasonable
cause a function, duty, power or requirement under this Act.

45. Delegation-(1) The Director General may delegate all or any
of the Director General’s functions, duties and powers under this Act
to a food safety officer or another officer or employee of the Ministry
except the power of delegation under this section.



2015, No. 16 Food 25

(2) The delegation does not prevent the Director General from
carrying out the functions, duties, and powers delegated under
subsection (1).

46. Regulations-(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Head of State,
acting on the advice of Cabinet, may make regulations to give effect to
or for the purposes of this Act, and in particular to make regulations
for the following purposes:
(a) to specify the criteria that the composition of food, and the
sampling and testing of food to determine its
composition, must meet to ensure that food is safe and
suitable;
(b) to specify the criteria that the following must meet to
ensure that food is safe and suitable -
(i) the sampling and testing of food or an
associated thing to determine its safety or
suitability;
(ii) the production, processing, cooking,
handling, labeling, importation or sale of food;
(iii) the information about or the identification,
promotion or advertisement of food;
(iv) the substance in or the chemical status or
genetic modification of food;
(v) the elimination of hazards from food;
(vi) any other matter that affects the safety or
suitability of food;
(c) to require an approved item or an approved person or an
approved class of persons to be used;
(d) to set out all or any of the following for imported food -
(i) different categories based on criteria,
descriptions, food groups, import passages, origins,
risks, or types;
(ii) different treatment for different categories,
including their criteria to be complied with;
(iii) how and when the criteria must be met, how
the criteria may be met and who is responsible for
ensuring that the criteria are met;
(iv) other matters related to criteria;
(v) sampling and testing requirements that must
be complied with;
(vi) record-keeping requirements that must be
complied with;



26 Food 2015, No. 16

(e) to prescribe procedures, documentation and requirements
relating to a certificate of health;
(f) to set out requirements of the following for a person or a
class of persons -
(i) the information that the person or class of
persons must collect about food or an associated
thing;
(ii) the periods for which the person or class of
persons must keep the information;
(iii) how, when, and to whom the person or
class of persons must report on the information;
(g) to set out requirements on the details of and keeping and
maintaining of public registers under this Act;
(h) to prescribe fines not exceeding 10,000 penalty units for the
breach of a regulation;
(i) to prescribe standards for the fortification of food
including standards which prescribe the following -
(i) the composition, production, manufacture,
preparation, storage, labeling, promotion or
advertisement of food;
(ii) the sampling and testing of food to
determine its composition or safety;
(j) to regulate food business or food premises;
(k) to regulate the use of salt, sugars or fats in food.
(2) Before advising the Head of State to make regulations, the
Cabinet must take into account the following:
(a) the need to protect public health;
(b) the desirability of avoiding unnecessary restrictions on
trade;
(c) the desirability of maintaining consistency between the
regulations and any relevant standards, requirements, or
recommended practices that apply or are accepted
internationally including standards, guidelines and
related texts published by the Codex Alimentarius
Commission;
(d) the need to give effect to Samoa’s obligations under a
relevant international agreement, convention, protocol,
or treaty;
(e) any other matter that the Cabinet considers relevant.



2015, No. 16 Food 27

47. Fees and forms - The Minister may:
(a) by Notice in the Savali, determine fees, charges, levies, and
other cost recovery mechanisms for the purposes of this
Act; and
(b) approve forms for the purpose of this Act.

48. Reference to standard works-(1) A reference in a regulation
or notice made under this Act to the current edition of a specified
standard work of reference is to be read as a reference to the latest
edition of the work available at the time of reading, together with any
changes made to it up to that time.
(2) A reference in a document to a specific edition of a specified
standard work of reference means the specific edition that is to be
used.
(3) A standard work of reference is a work of reference that the
Director General considers is accepted internationally or by industry as
a standard work of reference to be consulted on its subject matter.

49. Transitional-(1) Within the 12 months after the
commencement date of this Act, a person may sell food if:
(a) there is no reason, other than the fact that this Act applies to
it, as to why the person must not sell the food; and
(b) the person proves that -
(i) at the commencement of this Act, the food
was part of the existing stock-in-trade in Samoa of a
person carrying on business in Samoa; or
(ii) the food was purchased before the
commencement of this Act for importation into
Samoa; and
(c) since the commencement of this Act, no person has done an
act that causes the food not to comply with this Act or
regulations.
(2) Subsection (1) does not allow a person to sell any food that is
unsafe.
(3) The Head of State may, acting on the advice of Cabinet, make
regulations, within two (2) years from the commencement of this Act,
to deal with any transitional or saving matters relating to this Act.

50. Consequential amendments-(1) The Food and Drugs Act
1967 is amended as shown in the following table:



28 Food 2015, No. 16

Sections
amended
Amendment
Whole Act delete “Food and”, “food or”, “adulterated food”,
and “or food” wherever they appear in the whole
Act, including references in headings
2 (a) repeal whole definitions of “Appliance” and “Milk”
(b) repeal definition of “Food” and substitute the
following definition:

““Food” has the meaning given under the
Food Act 2015;”
4 repeal subsections (2) and (7)
8 repeal subsections (4) and (6)
14 Substitute:
“14. New drugs-(1) No person may import or
manufacture any new drug unless the new drug is
approved under this section.
(2) A person may, in writing, apply to the Chief
Executive Officer to approve the new drug setting
out the following:
(a) the full name and address of the applicant;
and
(b) if the applicant is not the manufacturer, the
full name and address of the manufacturer;
and
(c) the name under which the drug is or will be marketed; and
(d) a quantitative statement of the ingredients of the drug, using descriptive or non-proprietary names; and
(e) a specimen or copy of every label used or proposed to be used on packages containing the drug, or its wording; and
(f) a description of the form or forms of the drug; and



2015, No. 16 Food 29

(g) the proposed or recommended quantity
and frequency of dose, and the manner in
which the drug is recommended to be
administered, applied or otherwise used;
and
(h) the purposes for which the drug is
recommended to be used, and the claims
intended to be made in respect of its
usefulness; and
(i) reports of any tests made to establish the
safety of the drug for the purposes for
which and in the manner in which it is
intended to be used; and
(j) reports of any tests made to control the
strength, quality, purity or safety of the
drug; and
(k) the intended method of marketing the drug
in Samoa; and
(l) if the drug is to be manufactured, prepared
or packed in Samoa the place where that is
intended to be done.
(3) Except with the prior written consent of the
Chief Executive Officer, no person may sell, or
distribute by way of gift, loan, or sample or in any
manner whatsoever, or advertise for sale, or
advertise the availability of, any new drug until
after the expiry of at least 90 days from the date the
application was received by the Chief Executive
Officer.
(4) The Chief Executive Officer may:
(a) approve the new drug with or without conditions;



30 Food 2015, No. 16

(b) decline to approve any new drug if the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied that the
drug may have substantially similar
pharmacological effect, or is intended or
apparently intended to have a substantially
similar pharmacological effect, as an
illegal drug under the Narcotics Act 1967
or any other Act; or
(c) revoke any approved new drug if the Chief Executive Officer is satisfied that the new
drug may have substantially similar
pharmacological effect, or is intended or
apparently intended to have a substantially
similar pharmacological effect, as an
illegal drug under the Narcotics Act 1967
or any other Act.
(5) A person commits an offence who:
(a) manufactures or imports a new drug contrary
to subsection (1); or
(b) sells, or distributes by way of gift, loan, or
sample or in any other manner, or advertises
for sale, or advertises the availability of, any
drug that is not approved or is revoked under
subsection (4),
and is liable to a fine not exceeding 500 penalty
units or to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding five (5) years.”.
19 Delete “14”
25 repeal subsection (6)
40 in subsection (2), repeal paragraphs (g), (h), (o),
(q), and (r)

(2) Business Licences Act 1998 - For section 7 of the Business
Licences Act 1998, after subsection (3) insert:



2015, No. 16 Food 31

“(4) If the application is for an economic activity for food
business, the applicant must attach to the application a copy of the
certificate of health issued under the Food Act 2015.
(5) It is a condition of a licensed business for economic activity
in relation to any food business that the food business should not
be opened for trading unless it has a certificate of health issued
under the Food Act 2015.”.

(3) Consumer Information Act 1989 - In section 2 of the
Consumer Information Act 1989:
(a) in the definitions of “drug” and “medical device”, for “Food
and Drugs Act 1967”, substitute “Drugs Act 1967”; and
(b) in the definition of “food”, for “Food and Drugs Act 1967”
substitute “Food Act 2015”.

(4) Ministry of Health Act 2006 - In Schedule 1 to the Ministry of
Health Act 2006:
(a) for “Food and Drugs Act 1967” substitute “Drugs Act
1967”; and
(b) insert “Food Act 2015” in its correct alphabetical position.

(5) Narcotics Act 1967 - In sections 7(2)(f) and 10(3C)(a)(iv) of
the Narcotics Act 1967, for “Food and Drugs Act 1967” substitute
“Drugs Act 1967”.

(6) Poisons Act 1968 - In sections 3 and 33(6) of the Poisons Act
1968, for “Food and Drugs Act 1967” substitute “Drugs Act 1967”.

(7) Any regulations, orders or other items of subsidiary legislation in
relation to food made under the Food and Drugs Act 1967 continue as if
they were made under this Act until they are revoked or replaced under
this Act or other Act.

__________
The Food Act 2015 is administered by the Ministry of Health.